COWncil Roundup – May 27th, 2008

June 10, 2008

The COWncil was back in session on Tuesday, May 27th after six weeks of canceled and moved meetings. They are scheduled to resume a more normal schedule. COWncilmembers Boynton and Mason were absent from Tuesday’s meeting. The meeting featured a $100,000 horse and more bicycle tensions. As always, the video of the meeting is available on Mootube, here.

During COWmunications, the Vice Chair of the Conservation and Environmental Health Committee spoke and thanked the COWncil for their recent vote on climate change (read about it here) and spoke favorably of other recent environmental activities in Town. Next, the COWncil gave an official commendation to John Kapel for his service on the ASRB.

After the consent calendar passed, the COWncil moved on to a presentation by the Woodside Landscape Committee, a community group sadly without much of a web presence And therefore not much is known about there activities. As noted in this edition of the Woodsider, they’re responsible for planting the daffodils on Village Hill. They now have a plan that’s in the early stages for putting a statue of a horse (or possibly a horse-and-rider) on Village Hill.

Town Manager Susan George had asked them to come to the COWncil meeting so she could feel out the COWncil’s mood on supporting this initiative, and after a LOOOOOONG presentation about a few favored artists, price tags, a little controversy emerged. The sculpture, which would be paid for with private funds (but it sounds like it would be place on public land) was projected to cost $100,000, although pieces by artists that do similar work were quoted to be as expensive as $250,000. The members of the Landscape Committee also seemed to want a trail rider horse-and-rider figure – thus, a western motif – arguing that the whole Town has a western aesthetic. This seemed to be met with some disagreement in the crowd, and COWncilmember Tanner suggested that such a figure might spur the show jumping and English riders to want their own figures if they’re excluded.

Eventually the COWncil gave Susan George a preliminary go-ahead to negotiate with and help guide the Landscape Committee, but with a recommendation to look at other sites, to push for a horse statue without a rider in order to represent all the different riding communities of Woodside, and to perhaps bring it to a Town vote or other forum where the public could have their say on a final design, so this will definitely come back again.

Next there was an update on the Huddart-Wunderlich Parks Master Plan, over which the Town has been collegially bickering with the County for months. See here and here . It sounds as if the County accepted most of the Town’s concerns, with a few items outstanding. It’s a good thing, too, since the COWncil’s recent erratic meeting schedule left just one week before the Board of Supervisors scheduled vote on it. Greer Road has seen a drop in traffic since the gate into the park has been locked regularly (although apparently it’s left unlocked for up to an hour at a time). The COWncil seemed happy overall with the County’s stance, requesting that Susan George write a letter with their few remaining concerns, but strongly indicating they weren’t willing to fight over the last few items.

Item 10 was an ordinance modifying the Woodside Municipal Code with regard to stable and horse events. The ordinance removed some restrictions on such events and that the ordinance passed with no opposition, of course.

Item 11 was a resolution supporting the ‘Honor the Stop’ campaign created by the coach of one of the bicyclists killed by a sheriffs’ deputy in Cupertino in March, to get everyone – bicyclists, drivers, pedestrians, equestrians, motorcyclists – to pledge to obey traffic laws by wearing a Lance Armstrong-style wrist bracelet. After more discussion of the heated climate in the Town when it comes to bicyclists the measure passed to grant $2,500 for the manufacture of 5,000 bracelets to be passed out.

Finally, GreenWaste Recovery was granted a 10-year contract for garbage and recycleables collection, along with a rate increase on garbage collection. There were generally positive comments on their service. We applaud COWncilmember Burow had questions about their finances and long-term plans,. Any long-term contract should be scrutinized carefully before the Town enters into it.

The COWncil then wrapped up, and hopefully will meet as scheduled on Tuesday, June 9th!

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